DRI receives grant for fire modeling tool

DRI receives grant for fire modeling tool
Screenshot of a simulation of the Caldor Fire created with the weather-fire-smoke model. Green lines indicate wind direction, red and yellow area indicates fire perimeter, and gray cloud represents smoke. Credit: Adam Kochanski/San Jose State University and Tim Brown/DRI.

RENO — A $150,000 grant provided this week to the Desert Research Institute will be used to support a new Weather and Research Forecast modeling tool to improve wildfire preparedness in Nevada. The grant was provided to DRI by NV Energy Foundation.

NV Energy in recent years has stepped up its activities related to wildfire prevention and mitigation with support for both technology and fuels reduction projects.

DRI’s new modeling tool will simulate weather, fire and smoke for both firefighting and prescribed fire operations. Plans are for the tool to allow for modeling of fire risk using specific locations, weather conditions and burn scenarios. This information can also help provide air quality forecasts which are critical for prescribed fire operations.

Officials say that in addition to providing information to fire agencies, NV Energy will have access to the information to share with their own fire mitigation team.

Energy companies, notably PG&E in California, have been blamed for multiple wildfire starts in recent years.

“We are committed to protecting our customers and the environment from the increasing risks of natural disasters, which include wildfires,” said Doug Cannon, NV Energy president and chief executive officer.

Source: DRI